As it is with Christianity many Onkwehonwe indigenous people are distrustful of science because of the historic relationship with the academy and the institutional systems of education.
Science cannot seem to comprehend or appreciate the ancient ceremonies and spirituality that indigenous people have maintained on this continent for eons. Mohawk elder Paul Delaronde has said that we have been here for 500,000 years.
The migration story which is part of the Haudenosaunee oral tradition says that our people originated far to the south and that we moved to what is now known as the NY State finger lakes region. Some elders have speculated that we broke off from the Mayans for socio-political reasons.
It is acceptable when indigenous history lines up with modern science but when the two views collide indigenous people will stand with our ancestors every single time. It was no different in 1996 when an old skull was found in a little town called Kennewick. All hell broke loose in the scientific community and wars have been raging about the skeleton until the victory had been declared a few days ago – Kennewick man is an Indian.
The bigger question is why was there any doubt? For the last 20 years scientists have been teaching children that “Native Americans” travelled across the beiring strait and were the first immigrants to this continent. Why do they keep teaching things they aren’t sure of? Maybe it soothes their white guilt?
So when indisputable DNA evidence comes along to prove that we have been here for at least 8,500 years – the age of Kennewick man – precious theories are demolished and they go back to the drawing board. Members of the Colville Nation were DNA tested and matched to their ancient ancestor and they are quite happy about the findings.
Stone tools were found in Minnesota that are at least 13,000 years old and scientists are still fighting over that. In 1951 a man named Thomas E. Lee of the National Museum of Canada found advanced stone tools in glacial deposits on the Sheguiandah reserve, Manitoulin Island. Geologist John Sanford of Wayne State University anazlyed his findings and wrote the tools were at least 65,000 years old and possibily even 125,000 years old.
No one has heard about this discovery because the stone tools were confiscated and Thomas E. Lee was fired and then blacklisted from the science community. John Sanfords findings vanished into storage bins of the National Museum of Canada. Even the Director of the Canadian museum was fired in a barrage of bizare collateral damage.
So when Canadians start talking about reconciliation and Aboriginal Day “celebrations” it is really hard to muster much enthusiasm because of their deep seded ideas of our origins that are blatantly racist and wrong. Do you realize you are questioning the reliability and integrity of our elders? Do you realize our track record is exeptionally good?
Until schools start teaching Canadian children that Onkwehonwe people have been here for *at least* 500,000 years there is no hope of reconciling anything.